Dashing hopes for Aukot bill as eight more counties reject it Mizigo bill

Thursday, October 17th, 2019 05:10 |
Thirdway Alliance Kenya party leader Ekuru Aukot.

Hopes of Ekuru Aukot’s Thirdway Alliance push for its Punguza Mizigo initiative appear to be dashing after eight more counties rejected the bill, bringing the number of counties that have turned it down so far to about 23.

The latest counties to shoot down the bill are Trans Nzoia, Garrissa, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet,  Kericho, Kisumu,  Meru, Tana River and Busia, which voted on Tuesday, further threatening the fate of the initiative pushing for among other things a reduction of the number of MPs to 147. 

Among other counties that have voted against the proposal which made it to the current stage after being supported by 1,222,541 registered voters are Nairobi, Kiambu, Siaya, Nakuru, Murang’a , Kakamega,  Kisii, Kirinyaga, Nyamira, Makueni, Nyeri, Mandera, Lamu and Homa Bay.

Vote in favour

To succeed, the draft bill requires support of MCAs  from at least 24 regional assemblies, but so far, only Uasin Gishu , which is home to Deputy President William Ruto has voted in its favour. While voting against the bill, MCAs in Trans Nzoia and Meru counties said it erodes the gains made by the 2010 Constitution.

The assembly’s Justice committee chairman Mathew Orang’o said the bill had received a resounding no from majority of residents in the region during a public participation forum on October 11. 

“Majority of the members of the public felt that the bill is too unrealistic and will undo gains made by the country under the current constitutional dispensation,” said Nyarango while tabling the motion. 

In Meru, where 42 members voted against it, Majority Leader Victor Karithi claimed  the reduction of the number of  MPs will lead to unfair representation in the National Assembly and reduce service delivery to the electorate.

Garissa Justice committee chair Hamdi Ahmed argued that whatever the bill is taking away from Kenyans was ‘much bigger’ than what it offers because it was among other things seeking further marginalising the already under privileged areas by abolishing nominations slots.

“The bill has enticing clauses, but it is too toxic to be consumed because the reduction of constituency will lead to more marginalisation in under privileged areas,” she told the House.

Hulugho MCA Mohamed Adow said reduction of the presidential terms will create irresponsible leaders, saying, “The bill is taking us back. A president who wins will not bother much because he or she does not stand a chance of being re-elected,”

Intimidating MCAs

Aukot, who has accused the “big boys” in the political arena of wooing and even intimidating MCAs to reject the bill, on Tuesday night during a live TV interview, expressed hopes that the remaining 25 counties will consider it.

The former presidential candidate was recently forced to pronounce himself on claims that the DP was sponsoring him as a way of flexing his political muscles against his political enemies.

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